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Eye doctor: Damage from sun can come fast and last forever

You know that feeling you get when someone tells you not to look at something, then all you want to do is look at it?

When it comes to looking at the solar eclipse, you may want to avoid that urge.

Doctor Thomas Finley with Tulsa Retina Consultants has seen what can happen, and it's not good.

"We can't undo the damage that's been done,” said Finley.

He said it doesn't take long to cause serious damage to your eyes. When light hits our eyes, the pupils close up to prevent too much light from getting in. Thing is about the sun, it's so bright, our pupils can't close enough to keep our eyes from getting damaged.

"It's going to affect the central vision," Finley said. "Whatever you're looking at, whether you're reading, looking at words, whatever you're trying to focus on is going to be the area that's damaged,” said Finley.

"The intensity of the sun is just so incredible, that once light comes into the eye, it becomes focused on the retina, and the retina is what has to absorb all that intensity,” he said. “And that intensity from the sun and those light rays creates such a heat accumulation in the layer underneath the retina, that it damages those cells.”

Of course, there are ways to view the eclipse without damaging your eyes. You can buy eclipse glasses at a number of locations, but Finley said to make sure you buy from a reputable company.

You may know how to wear the glasses, but the doctor says to keep a close eye on children because they may want to peek around the edges for a better look at the sun.

NASA has information on the eclipse and those glasses, as well as a listing of places to buy them.

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